sneak peek: sisse jonassen

Sisse Jonassen works in the television industry in New York City, and the bright lights, noise and chaos of her daily life sent her searching for something a little more relaxed, something that reminded her of her childhood growing up in Denmark. She found an online listing for a small 1795 post-and-beam farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, and even though it looked appalling from the outside, it was in her price range, so Sisse drove up in the middle of February to get a look at the place. It was love at first sight. The open floor plan made the home feel larger than its 1,268 square feet. Although it needed a lot of work, Sisse knew she could create something that felt rustic, simple and welcoming. Thank you, Sisse! And a big thank you to Emily Gilbert for the beautiful photographs. — Amy A.

Image above: In the four white frames is artwork by Norwegian artist Liv Stange. They are embroidered and remind me of sheet music. The dresser is one of those love-at-first-sight furniture moments for me. I found it in the basement of an antique store, and the dark, weathered forest green spoke to me in a way only deep green can. I feel calm when I’m in the room with it. The small Buddha I brought home from a trip to Bali.

Image above: I love the simplicity of the dinning room. There is something quiet about it. The Lady Godiva painting I found in a garage sale. I saw it from the back and was initially attracted to it for its sheer size. When I turned it around and saw the image, I knew I had to have it — even though I had nowhere to hang it at that time. The Louis Poulsen PH-50 lamp is a must-have for anyone of Scandinavian descent. It spreads light in the perfect way, with the bulb being completely sealed off from view, so it is glare-free for anyone sitting at the table. A few years ago, Royal Copenhagen updated their classic Blue Fluted by enlarging the pattern to become Mega Fluted. It’s simpler and less distracting that the original, and I absolutely adore it.

The rest of Sisse’s sneak peek continues after the jump…

Image above: The living room has great light, height and a feeling of space, yet it’s so cozy. It is actually a 2005 addition to the 1795 house, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. The floors are reclaimed wide board pine, the beams are salvaged from an old barn and the fireplace is from another house; it was painfully stripped of paint and sanded. Here I keep most of my finds, such as the slender Giacometti-looking figure on the mantle that I found by a dumpster and a discarded art-student project that I treasure. The two small paintings are cheap garage sale purchases, and the larger black and white painting I did myself. The coffee table is one big slab of wood, bent and gnarly. It belongs in the house. I bought it from the previous owners, who felt the same way.

Image above: You have to love NYC! I found this iconic Hans J. Wegner chair on the street. Recognizing it for what it was, I carried it 30 blocks home. To me, it’s an object of art and the essence of simplicity, beauty and function.

Image above: The kitchen was awful when I bought the house, but I saw the possibilities, and I enjoy a challenge. It was dark; there were no skylights, and the ceiling was only 6 ft. high, so you felt cramped in there. Needless to say, I gutted it completely, raised the ceiling, installed skylights and beams for structural support, new windows and a door to the patio. It took a month of working on it every day, figuring out how to overcome an old house with all its crookedness and weird angles. It’s now one of my favorite rooms.

Image above: I love having an upholstered chair in the kitchen and so does Fred. It has a removable slip cover, so I can wash it when there are too many paw prints or foody smells. It’s amazing how much use that chair gets. When you cook, guests will naturally gravitate to it; when you have breakfast, a cup of tea or even just [something] to read, it’s a great place to sit with a view of the garden.

  1. Thank you for letting us into this beautiful home! The kitchen has to be my favourite room, so filled with light and welcoming.

  2. Oh..this home is beautiful. The windows are gorgeous and the light combined with the mild colours gives the room “heart”. Lovely!

  3. I just love the peaceful feeling your home has…ahhh..calm

  4. Silvina says:

    Perfect…!!! :0

  5. Absolutely stunning — Thanks for inviting us in. It’s so light and the detail is so lovely.

  6. Leticia says:

    What a pretty house, I should like to live in there…………………enjpy your house

  7. Leticia says:

    Really a wounderfull house, enjoy it……………

  8. Christine says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Would you be willing to share the paint colors?

  9. Heather says:

    yes, paint colours would be great if you can? You have such a subtle palette here. Its beautiful. I seriously want to steal your kitchen – so light and airy!

  10. RzBd says:

    Practically perfect in every way!

  11. Laura says:

    I love everything about this home, especially the kitchen and the dachshund! Dying to know the paint color in the kitchen…

  12. I’ve never seen a green dresser like that, it’s like a deep, layered wood-emerald. I would love a dress in that color.

  13. What a beautiful, calming place! Great job!

  14. Jasmine says:

    loved everything from the green dresser to the cozy living room and the desk nook! white and natural wood always look comforting and perfect together.

  15. I love the wooden floor, wow!

  16. Linda says:

    Light and airy, beautiful design. Fantastic!

  17. Christina says:

    It has been a while since we had a sneak peek that I absolutely love. I absolutely love this sneak peek! Beautiful home.

  18. Vinny says:

    Amazing combination of light and composition. The house plays like a work of art! I especially love the eclectic combinations of street finds with true classics. I envy the small brown dog that gets to live in this house!

  19. Tom says:

    Nice Sisse!!

  20. I love the painting of the woman in the hat…Looks like it could be from the 1930s. I’ve a dream of doing a millinery-inspired studio with hats, mannequin heads and paintings like this acquired at vintage shops.

    And how about that washable white slipcover? Brilliant.

  21. jennifer says:

    I would love to know the paint color where the green dresser is – I have a leather couch that color and I was having a hard time finding the right color but that color would be perfect!

  22. Daphne Collins says:


  23. James J says:

    Very good, Sisse! – JJ

  24. Jess says:

    That flooring is so beautiful and the blue and brown/grey go perfectly together in the bedroom. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Sigrid says:

    I really liked everything about this home. Great aesthetic. Most of all, I liked Fred!

  26. charlene says:

    i want to kiss this house.

  27. Laura says:

    I love this so much. Where are the curtains from?

  28. Melissa Lu says:

    Stunning. May I ask where you go your kitchen counter tops and hardware? I’d love to do something similar.

  29. Chrissie says:

    Love every room but the kitchen especially. Any way to find out that paint color?!

  30. The butcher block countertop is from Ikea – it’s very affordable. The drawer pulls are all antique and I was lucky enough to find a knob that matched to put on the cabinet doors. The kitchen floor is “custom”. It’s a standard wood floor paint from Home Depot that I lightened a bit. The paint color on the wall was actually inspired by the dry wall… I liked the way it looked when I hung it & tried to find something similar. It’s called Cornforth White 228 and is from Farrow and Ball.
    For the living room I found a roll of linen on sale and sewed them my self.

  31. JM says:

    I usually HATE walls that are white/off white/light tan, etc. I was very impressed with these rooms though! I think the wall colors really look good against the beams on the ceilings. I love it!

  32. Terry Causer from England says:

    Please please show the outside pictures of the house! Not many people can say they live in a house that dates back to 1795. That’s part of the American past and gosh what a history. You should feel very proud. You have certainly created a home that is both charming and beautiful.

  33. XIronman says:

    I would love to live in such houses. They are designed very comfortable and nice.

  34. SH says:

    Please share the paint company and color or the wall behind the green dresser.

  35. Marilyn Flowers says:

    I love your bed spread/cover, white with taupe color medallians or flowers.

    Could you tell me where I could get one like it?

  36. Deana Styer says:

    How did you create the black and white artwork?

  37. Lynn says:

    The desk is incredible. Where did you find it?

  38. Rinna says:

    I still keep coming back to look at this house months later, what an inspiration!

  39. rachel grace says:

    it’s even better when you see what it looked like before she redid it!

  40. Paulina says:

    Hands down my favorite sneak peak! I absolutely love this house.

  41. Jill says:

    Your home is beautiful. Where did you come across your secretary desk?

  42. love the mix of old/new. Thanks for your green chest w/soft blue wall!?! My vtg green pieces can find a home in softest shades of blue paint w/white accents~reminds me of my garden!

  43. Laura says:

    Lovely!! Saw this photo in the new upholstery cleaning post and love love the pale green on the walls of your kitchen. Any way to get that paint color name? Thank you!

  44. Cassie says:

    Hi Laura! I was looking for the same thing! I checked through the comments – looks like it’s Cornforth White 228 from Farrow & Ball. Hope this helps!

  45. Sarah says:

    Hi Sissie,
    Could you please tell me where your kitchen rug is from? It is red and hot pink. I have searched everywhere trying to find one just like it! Your house is beautiful; great work,


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